Tag Archives: new knerds

Back row L-R: Erin, Nikita, Katia, Harish, Carolyn; Front row L-R: Benjamin, Oleg, Rob, Nicky

Introducing Nine New Knerds

Carolyn Stein comes to Knewton as a Humanities Content Curator. A former high school teacher, Carolyn was teaching English in high schools for immigrant students before coming to Knewton. She graduated from Brown University, received her teaching degree from the New School, and earned her Masters in education research at the University of Paris. She loves novels, especially classic British fiction, as well as old and foreign movies. She recently re-learned how to swim.

Rob Murcek is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University. Originally from Lewisburg, PA, Rob is a Software Engineer at Knewton. His favorite book is Slaughterhouse Five, and his hobbies include running, climbing, and building computers. His favorite Wikipedia page is this List of Algorithms.

Nikita Dyer joins Knewton as the Product Manager, Knowledge Graphs. Originally from New Jersey, Nikita graduated from Cornell and the London School of Economics. Nikita’s favorite book is Middlemarch by George Eliot and in her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, and book clubs.

Originally from New Mexico and Russia/Kazakhstan, Oleg Semenov earned his PhD. at the University of New Mexico before coming to Knewton as a Software Engineer. His favorite TV show is The Colbert Report and his hobbies include tennis, hiking, biking, surfing, and snowboarding. Oleg’s favorite website is Wikipedia.

Southern Utah native Erin Moore joins Knewton’s Adaptive Instruction team as an Adaptive Instruction Analyst. Erin graduated from Harvey Mudd College and earned her PhD from UC Berkeley. Before coming to Knewton, she was working in the semiconductor industry as a product engineer. Erin’s hobbies include running, knitting, and reading 1-star reviews on Amazon. She likes this Wikipedia trivia.

After graduating from Georgetown University and before joining Knewton, Katia Teran was part of a full-time skills accelerator where she learned about product. Katia is now the Senior Management Assistant at Knewton. Her hobbies include yoga and pilates and her favorite websites are freerice.com and Medium.

Nicky Zahokas joins Knewton as the Receptionist. Originally from New York, Nicky graduated from Manhattan College and was previously working as a substitute teacher. His hobbies include drawing, singing, and dancing. He should have been voted “most likely to start singing” in high school, and he’s a firm believer in YOLO.

Originally from Indianapolis, Benjamin Pollack graduated from Duke University and worked at Fog Creek Software before joining Knewton as the Senior Engineer, Deployment. His favorite book is Cryptonomicon and his hobbies include piano, hiking, and French. Ben thinks the G train is actually pretty awesome, and some people say he looks like Bill Gates. His blog is bitquabit.com.

Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Harish Tella graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before joining Knewton as a Software Engineer, he was working for a predictive analytics startup. Harish’s favorite album is the Blade Runner soundtrack by Vangelis and in his free time, he enjoys salsa dancing and playing guitar.

From L-R: Mike, Julia, Ilya, Ashley, Dan, and Dimitriy

Introducing Six New Knerds

We welcomed seven new Knerds to the team in the past month.

Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, Senior Product Manager Ilya Bagrak comes to Knewton from Amplify. His hobbies include writing, running, cooking, and reading (his favorite book is Special Topics in Calamity Physics). Ilya’s favorite website is Longreads and his favorite Wikipedia page is the Monty Hall problem. You can find him on Twitter @ibagrak or on his website, codercofounder.com.

Dan McGorry joins Knewton’s Product Design Team as the Art Director. Originally from Woodbridge, New Jersey, Dan graduated from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. In his free time, he enjoys photography and restoring and building 1980s BMX bikes. Dan’s high school yearbook should have named him most likely to never use algebra in real life. Find him on Twitter @DMcGorry and see his portfolio here.

Recent MIT graduate and Brooklyn native Julia Sterling joins Knewton as a Software Engineer on the QA team. Prior to coming to Knewton, she spent her summer teaching Python to high school students in Jerusalem. Julia’s hobbies include sewing, soccer, and intro parkour. Her favorite Wikipedia page is on heavy metal subgenres.

Mike Chapin, the Director of Legal at Knewton, graduated from UC Berkeley and earned his JD from Boston University. Originally from Silicon Valley, he was previously working at a big law firm in Boston, mainly working with entrepreneurs and startups (Knewton being one of them). Mike’s main hobby is trying out new hobbies — upcoming plans include cooking a 4 course meal from a book (and having people like it) and brewing beer in his NYC apartment.

Ashley Mucha joins Knewton as a Biology Content Curator. Ashley is originally from New Jersey and received her B.S. from Michigan State and her M.S. from Johns Hopkins to University. She’s taught Biology and Anatomy/Physiology in Baltimore City and 6th/7th grade science in Newark, NJ. Her favorite book is High Fidelity by Nick Hornby and her favorite things in the world are robots, sunflowers, and airports (in that order).

Originally from Ukraine, Dimitriy Royzenberg has lived in New Jersey for the past 14 years. He joins Knewton as part of the Systems Engineering team. Before coming to Knewton he was building and managing scalable database infrastructure for a broad range of companies. In his free time, Dimitriy enjoys biking, yoga, and reading. His favorite TV show is Seinfeld.



Welcome Kristen and Kate

We welcomed two new Knerds last month.

Kristen Keating Weeks joins as a Senior Manager, Business Development. Originally from Haverford, PA, Kristen studied History & Literature at Harvard College and earned her MBA at Columbia Business School. Kristen’s favorite place is New Orleans and her favorite websites are the New York Times and Suri’s Burn Book.

Kate Wellschlager joins Knewton as a Content Curator for the Humanities. A former middle and high school social studies and history teacher, Kate graduated from Kenyon College and earned her MA at Columbia University. Her hobbies include cooking (for stress relief and sustenance!) as well as running — she’s completed seven marathons. She’s also pretty good at doing cartwheels on rollerblades. Kate’s favorite website is Puppywar.com, and her favorite Wikipedia article is the Back to the Future Timeline.


Introducing 15 New Knerds

We have 15 new Knerds to introduce this month. Nine engineers, one adaptive instruction analyst, one finance and operations associate, one client manager, one content curator, one product manager, and one data scientist recently joined the Knewton team.

Without further ado, here’s a quick intro to each of them.

Full stack engineer Remi Carton is originally from Lyon, France, and studied at the Universite de Technologie de Compiegne. His favorite book is Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and his hobbies include kitesurfing and baking bread. He thought Deadliest Catch was somewhat entertaining.

Annie Naftel is our newest Adaptive Instruction Analyst. Originally from Western New York, Annie completed her undergrad at Dartmouth College and earned her Master of Science in Teaching from Pace University. Previously, she worked at Benetech, a nonprofit technology company, where she worked to provide digital, accessible reading materials for people with print disabilities.  Before that, Annie taught English Language Arts in two NYC public schools. Annie’s favorite movie is Wayne’s World.

Ian Schenck joins Knewton as a Senior Systems Engineer. He earned his B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Penn State and went to grad school at NYU for Computational Biology. Ian’s favorite website is snow-forecast.com and his favorite Wikipedia page is this List of Common Misconceptions. You can find Ian snowboarding, free diving, spearfishing, and/or kite boarding in his free time.

Senior Security Engineer Joel Anderson was born in Sarasota, FL but hails more recently from Austin, TX. Before coming to Knewton, he was federating cloud infrastructure management. Joel’s favorite movie is “obviously” The Matrix and his hobbies include bodybuilding and binary exploitation. His favorite Wikipedia page is on return-oriented programming and this is his favorite subreddit.

Michaela Lehr joins Knewton as a Finance and Operations Analyst. She’s originally from North Caldwell, NJ (better known as the location of the Soprano home) and graduated from UPenn. Michaela’s hobbies include drinking kombucha green tea in mass quantities, playing piano, and finding people to yammer with in French. She was voted “loudest” in her high school yearbook but should have been voted “most ebullient.” Also, she thinks Excel is fun.

Sally Searby is the newest Client Manager on Knewton’s Implementations team. Originally from Oxford, England, Sally more recently lived in Cambridge for 15 years. Before coming to Knewton, she was the Director of Publishing at Cambridge University Press. Sally majored in English literature and linguistics at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, and received her MBA from Oxford Brookes University. In her free time, Sally loves singing (she’s sung with the Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall several times) and travelling (especially by train).

Scott MacGibbon, the newest engineer on the Platform team, comes to Knewton via Amplify and, before that, “a land down under.” He graduated from the University of Sydney. His favorite movie is Brazil, and this is his favorite Wikipedia page.

Software engineer Peter Kelley grew up in Syracuse, NY, attended SUNY Geneseo, and previously worked for SRC, a Syracuse-based defense contractor. His hobbies include iOS development, hacking census data, and watching SU basketball. He also loves water parks. Check out his blog at petercodes.blogspot.com and then check out his favorite Wikipedia page: a list of the tallest buildings in Upstate New York.

Mathematics content curator Greg Hitt grew up in a farm town outside of Cincinnati and taught Algebra 2, Calculus, and Physics in Brooklyn before coming to Knewton. Greg enjoys playing ukulele and thinking up punny titles for future Air Bud movies. His favorite book is Blood Meridian, and he hasn’t had hiccups since 1994. This is his favorite website.

Senior Software Engineer Derek Odegard previously worked as the lead front end developer at OpenSky, an online retailer. He grew up in San Diego and went to Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA. His favorite movie is Dr. Strangelove and this is his favorite Wikipedia page.

New Hampshire native Alex Roussos, a Dartmouth grad, joins Knewton as a software engineer. Before coming to Knewton he worked at a mobile mesh networking startup, and then did web development in the ecommerce space. His hobbies include homebrewing and cooking and his favorite websites are Ben Krasnow and The Mad Fermentationist.

Celia La joins Knewton as a software engineer on the Platform Tools team. Born and raised in San Diego, Celia went to UC Berkeley and lingered in LA before heading to NYC. A “volunteeraholic,” Celia is also co-organizer of the NYC Python Meetup and the Write/Speak/Code conference, which empowers women developments to be visible contributors to the tech community. In a past life, Celia was a jazz musician. You can find her on Twitter @celiala.

Originally from San Diego, Product Manager Mark Georgiev graduated from Stanford University and previously worked at the McGraw-Hill Digital Platform Group. His favorite book is Kafka’s The Trial and his hobbies include standing on his hands. Mark’s favorite website is e-literate and he recommends the Wikipedia page on Wolfgang von Kempelen’s Speaking Machine.

After five years in NYC, Data Scientist Yan Karklin can now officially claim the city as his hometown. His hobbies (exploring the boroughs on bicycle) and reading material (The New Yorker) are fitting for his adopted home. Yan graduated from Carnegie Mellon University and before coming to Knewton was doing neuroscience research at NYU.

From L-R: Josh, Meagan, Andrew, Megan, Renee, Eric, Erin, and David

Welcome to Eight New Knerds

Eight Knerds joined Knewton last month. Here’s a quick introduction to each of our new team members.

Andrew Gwozdziewycz, Senior Software Engineer on the Platform team, comes to Knewton from OKCupid Labs, where he was the CTO. Originally from Honesdale, PA, Andrew graduated from Temple University and currently lives in Brooklyn. In his free time, he enjoys photography; reading about, implementing, and messing around with programming languages; and running Hack and Tell (a show and tell for hackers, which he founded). Andrew’s favorite website is Wikipedia and his favorite Wikipedia page is on the history of the telephone. Find him on Twitter @apgwoz or at apgwoz.com.

Megan Bowe joins Knewton as an Implementation Architect on the Implementation Team. Originally from Walla Walla, Washington, Megan was previously evangelizing for a learning technology standard, the xAPI (Tin Can) at Rustici Software. Megan’s current favorite book is To Save Everything, Click Here by Evgeny Morozov. In her free time, she co-runs an unconference called Up to All of Us. You can also find Megan on Twitter @MeganBowe or on her “well-neglected blog” at bowekno.ws.

One other Me(a)gan came aboard the Knewton team this month. Meagan Palatino is a Product Manager on the Profile & Platform Tools team. Originally from Burlington, VT, Meagan is a graduate of McGill and Columbia University. Her hobbies include capoiera, creating a jungle in her apartment (“plant obsession”), and photographing and writing about the city. Meagan’s favorite book is Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! and her favorite website is thecoolhunter.net.

Erin Wilson is one of the newest members of Knewton’s Business Development team. A Stanford graduate, Erin hails from Hayward, CA. Previously, she was working in investment banking at Credit Suisse. In her free time, Erin enjoys running, cooking, and travelling. Her favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird.

Before joining Knewton, Renee Revis was developing educational applications in English grammar, math, and other subjects. Renee is now a Senior Software Engineer on Knewton’s Platform team. Originally from outside D.C. in Maryland, Renee graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park. She loves being outside (including hiking and exploring Central Park) and is a Duke basketball fan.

Eric Batscha joins Knewton’s Business Development team after working in BD for AppNexus. Originally from New York City, Eric graduated from Bates College. His hobbies include tea and cycling. Find him on Twitter @EricBatscha.

Josh Daniels is another new addition to Knewton’s BD team. Josh graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and is originally from New York (by way of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Wisconsin). In his free time, you can find him playing soccer, travelling, or looking for great new music. His favorite website is coolhunting.com. Find him on Twitter @JoshDaniels09.

Originally from Ardmore, PA, David Groff is a recent graduate of Stanford University and joins Knewton’s Platform team as a Software Engineer. In his free time, David enjoys tennis and philosophy. His favorite movie is Network and his favorite Wikipedia page is on the red-tailed hawk. You can find David on Twitter @dgroff73.

L-R: Rafi, Zack, Mia, Tanya, and Chris

Welcome Rafi, Tanya, Chris, Zack, and Mia

Five new Knerds joined the Knewton team last month.

Software engineer Rafi Shamim is a New Jersey native and recent grad of Princeton University. His hobbies include soccer, ultimate frisbee, upgrading his computer, reading, coding puzzles, Civilization V, Crusader Kings II, and European-style board games. His favorite website is futilitycloset.com. You can find Rafi at http://rafiss.com/blog or on Twitter @rafiss.

Tanya Roth joins Knewton as the Human Resources Manager. Originally from Mountain Lakes, NJ, she graduated from Bucknell and Columbia Teacher’s College. Her favorite movie is Through a Glass Darkly and her favorite book is Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence. Tanya enjoys cooking and baking in her free time.

After working on growth hacking and user acquisition for several startups, Chris Rodriguez joined Knewton as the Growth Marketing Manager. Chris is originally from New York City and graduated from the University of Virginia. He’s a big NYC sports fan, and his favorite book is The Secret. Find Chris on Twitter @Chris_Excel and at his website, yougrow.co.

Before coming to Knewton, Zack Nichols — a Data Analyst on the Analytics team — was studying the neuroscience of the visual system at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. Originally from South Carolina, Zack also studied at the University of South Carolina. His favorite author is Borges, and his favorite Wikipedia page is about Setun. Zack’s high school class voted him “Best Hair.”

Mia Chubarova joins Knewton as a Designer on the Marketing team. Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Mia moved to Youngstown, Ohio in 1994. She graduated from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and previously worked as a design intern at Carbone Smolan Agency in NYC. In her free time, Mia likes online window shopping for fancy sheets and going to see movies with crazy graphics and loud noises.

From L-R: Sravan, Sonal, Shuying, and Molly

Welcome Molly, Sonal, Sravan, and Shuying

Four new Knerds joined the team in the last month.

Molly Gerth is the Communications Manager on the Marketing team. Previously, Molly worked at TriplePoint in San Francisco and then New York, doing PR for startups with a special focus on edtech. Originally from Half Moon Bay, CA, Molly graduated from Stanford University. Outside of work, you can find her dancing, writing, freestyling, and eating ice cream before dinner.

Sonal Singhal joins Knewton as an Adaptive Instruction Analyst. Originally from Dayton, OH, she earned her BA from Washington University and her PhD from Berkeley. Sonal’s hobbies include running, quilting, and doing science. Her favorite website is tomandlorenzo.com (not a joke) and her favorite Wikipedia page is this one. Sonal blogs at amazingistheworld.tumblr.com.

Sravan Bhamidipati is a QA software engineer at Knewton. Originally from Hyderabad, India, Sravan graduated from Columbia University. Previously, he was working on making Android more secure out of the SW Systems Lab at Columbia. In his free time, Sravan enjoys reading and writing. His favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird.

Shuying Luo joins Knewton as a software engineer on the Adaptive Interactions team. Shuying is originally from China and earned her B.A. from Peking University. Most recently, she graduated from a Masters programs at Yale. The most interesting place Shuying has ever visited is Kyoto, Japan.

Chris, Susan, Win, and Josh

Welcome Josh, Win, Susan, and Chris

Four team members joined Knewton this month. Here’s a quick rundown of our newest Knerds.

Originally from Manhattan, Josh Gordon attended Yale and taught at Beaumont High School in St. Louis before joining Knewton’s Content Curation team. Currently Josh spends much of his time errantly wandering parts of New York he hasn’t been to yet. He thinks D3: The Mighty Ducks was way better than Mighty Ducks 1 and 2 combined. (Feel free to argue with him in the comments.)

Fellow Content Curator Win Suen comes to Knewton via Hong Kong, Jacksonville, FL, and, most recently, Princeton University. Win’s hobbies include photography, learning new languages, translating manuscripts, and traveling. Right now, she’s trying to read one canto of The Divine Comedy every night for the next 100 days. She grants anyone permission to take away her Knewton-kitchen snack privileges if she slacks off.

Former math teacher Susan D’Auria also joins Knewton as part of the Content Curation team. Susan’s favorite TV show is Lost and her hobbies include writing music, sketching, blogging, and collecting keyboards (the musical type). Despite others’ objections, Susan thinks Ke$ha can really sing. Find out more at susandauria.com.

Chris Kish joins the Knewton Analytics team as a Data Analyst. Originally from outside Boston, Chris attended Stanford for undergrad and earned a M.S. from MIT. He worked previously as a management consultant. Chris’ favorite movie is WALL-E.

L-R: Jocelyn, Danielle, and David

Introducing the Interns, Part 2

We welcomed a few more interns to the Knewton team in the past few weeks.

After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis last May with a double major in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology and Spanish, David Kosofsky studied Religion in Jerusalem. Now, he’s working on Knewton’s Content Curation team. Outside of work, you can find David hunting for four-leaf clovers, spearfishing for tuna, and playing blindfolded Sodoku. His favorite movies are vintage Adam Sandler (think Big Daddy, Happy Gilmore, and Billy Madison).

Originally from Austin, TX, Danielle Suh is a rising junior at Harvard College. She’s currently studying Applied Math but is planning to make the switch to Statistics (“soon, probably”). In addition to the expected math and stats classes, she recently took a fascinating class on the Enlightenment. This summer, Danielle is working on Knewton’s data science team; she’s psyched to be in New York and loves all the student rush tickets available here.

Jocelyn Schulz is working on Knewton’s Adaptive Interactions team this summer. Currently a student at NYU studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Jocelyn has been doing research in millimeter-wave communications at NYU WIRELESS since her freshman year of college. She has a snarky long-haired chihuahua named Nano Byte (“or Nano Pi, depending on what side of her personality she’s using”). In her free time, Jocelyn loves dancing (especially k-pop) and rock climbing.

L to R: Vukosi, Eric, Irene, Sophie, Andersen, Dmitriy, Jonathan

Introducing the Interns

We’ve had eight interns join our team in the past few weeks. Here’s a quick introduction to these new Knerds:

Vukosi Marivate joins Knewton for the summer as an intern on the Analytics team, where he’s working on data infrastructure to provide more insightful analytics. Originally from South Africa, Vukosi is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at Rutgers. His hobbies include online reading and watching documentaries, and his favorite TV shows are Arrested Development and (obviously) The Wire. You can find him on Twitter or at his blog.

Sophie Chou is an undergrad studying Computer Science at Columbia University. This summer, she’s working on Knewton’s Data Science team, building models of the effects of certain modules on student results. In her free time, she enjoys writing, dance, and cooking (check out her food blog!). Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her favorite book as a child.

Irene Chen joins Knewton as an intern on the Data Science team. Originally from Atlanta, GA, Irene is a rising senior studying Applied Math at Harvard. Her favorite place to visit is Taipei, Taiwan because the food is amazing. Irene’s favorite movie is You’ve Got Mail.

Andersen Chen is back for a second summer of interning with Knewton’s Data Science team. Andersen is originally from Brookline, MA, and is currently a rising senior at Brown University studying math and computer science. In his free time, Andersen enjoys reading non-fiction books and watching Stargate SG-1.

Dmitriy Gromov joins Knewton’s Platform team to work on service layer standardization. Originally from Brooklyn, Dmitriy is earning his Masters in Computer Science at Columbia University (his favorite class so far was on Operating Systems). In his free time, he enjoys playing music. His favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo.

Originally from San Jose, California, Eric Chu is currently studying EECS and Applied Math at UC Berkeley. He’s working on Knewton’s Platform team this summer. Eric’s favorite TV shows right now are Breaking Bad, Parks and Rec, and Peep Show. In his free time, he likes trying new cheeses. He would also like you to know that he once had a fish named Blooper.

Jonathan Goldman joins Knewton to work on our Full Stack Systems team (also known as Flaming Horse). Jonathan is from Plainview, New York and is currently studying Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. His favorite class there so far was Great Theoretical Ideas in Computer Science. Jonathan’s favorite TV show is Louie.

Originally from Manhasset, NY, Max Egan is a currently a student studying Mathematics and Economics at Emory University. He’s interning on Knewton’s Partnerships team this summer to help analyze educational markets. His hobbies include playing squash, being a soccer goalkeeper, and research. His favorite TV show is Lost.